Curcumin, an Indian spice derived from the turmeric root, could reduce the breast cancer risk for women using hormone replacement therapy, say University of Missouri (UM) researchers.
"Approximately 6 million women in the United States use hormone replacement therapy to treat the symptoms of menopause," said UM biomedical scientist Salman Hyder. "This exposure to progestin will predispose a large number of post-menopausal women to possible future development of breast cancer. The results of our study show that women could potentially take curcumin to protect themselves from developing progestin-accelerated tumors."
The researchers found that curcumin delayed the first appearance, decreased incidence and reduced multiplicity of progestin-accelerated tumors. Curcumin also prevented the appearance of gross morphological abnormalities in the mammary glands.
"Curcumin and other potential anti-angiogenic compounds should be tested further as dietary chemopreventive agents in women already exposed to hormone replacement therapy containing estrogen and progestin in an effort to decrease or delay the risk of breast cancer associated with combined hormone replacement therapy," Hyder concluded.
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Source: University of Missouri